How To Create A Snapchat Geofilter For Employer Branding

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Recruiting Millennials? Create a fun Snapchat Geofilter for your employees and they’ll promote your employer brand to a huge audience of followers.

Screenshots of Recruiting Social’s 4th birthday Snapchat Geofilter

Your company doesn’t need to be active on Snapchat to harness the messaging app’s employer brand-building power. If your employees and the people you’d like to be employees are active Snappers, you have an opportunity to promote awareness of your company to an attentive audience.

If you’re arching your eyebrows, please consider for a second:

  1. Do you dismiss Snapchat because it’s “too new?” 100 Million people are daily active Snapchatters.
  2. Does your company employ or recruit people under the age of 34? 60% of them are Snapchatters.
  3. Do you dismiss Snapchat because “only kids use it”? Actually, 40% of users are over the age of 25, and 14% of Snapchatters are over the age of 35.
  4. For every 10 followers a Snapchat user has, 9 will engage with the content they Snap (Yes, that’s a huge level of engagement!).

So basically:

If your company is actively recruiting Millennials, Snapchat offers you a large, very attentive audience even if you don’t commit to Snapping from a brand account.

How? By creating On-Demand Geofilters: time-limited, location-specific overlays that communicate the “where and when” of a Snap in a fun way. Let me tell you a story about how our own company did it:

Our Birthday Geofilter experiment

See, I get a thrill out of designing fun surprises and happy experiences for people. I also think delight is a powerful tool for building loyalty – audience loyalty, customer loyalty, and of course employee loyalty. Recruiting Social’s fourth birthday was fast approaching, and there was no way I wasn’t going to plan some kind of surprise to help our team to mark the occasion.

While Recruiting Social the brand does not use Snapchat actively right now (our marketing objectives and target audience dictate we focus on other channels), most of our team members are active Snapchatters. I’d recently learned about the platform’s new, custom on-demand Geofilters. Putting two and two together, I realized that a branded Geofilter would offer the opportunity to 1) give the team a surprise that reflected who they are and how they like to communicate, 2) show off what it’s like to work at Recruiting Social, and 3) experiment with a new function on a white-hot social platform that boasts super-attentive users.

Perfect!

So, I set to work creating and scheduling the Geofilter. Featuring a silly illustrated graphic with a birthday hat, logo pin, and half-eaten cupcake, it was available to Snapchat users within a roughly one-block vicinity of our Los Angeles and Vancouver offices and lasted from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on the day of our birthday. First thing that morning, our content coordinator Lily – the only other person who knew about this endeavor – sent the team a Snap using the custom Geofilter. Surprised and thrilled, everyone got in on the fun:

Recruiting Social team members hamming it up while using our employer branding Snapchat Geofilter

Now, even though our company doesn’t Snap, that doesn’t mean we didn’t make the most of all this fantastic employee-generated content. We saved and repurposed the Snaps to share on …

LinkedIn …

Screenshot of Snapchat Geofilter repurposed for LinkedIn

Twitter …

Screenshot of Snapchat Geofilter repurposed for Twitter

Facebook …

Screenshot of Snapchat Geofilter repurposed for Facebook

And Instagram.

Screenshot of Snapchat Geofilter repurposed for Instagram

And here are some numbers:

Added all together, the 8 active Snapchatters on our team have approximately 550 followers. Every one of us Snapped with the birthday Geofilter (lucky us, our people are engaged). If we use the impressions stat quoted earlier, and assume 9 out of 10 of our followers saw our branded Snaps, that’s 495 people who spent three or four seconds looking at our logo pins and #recruitinglife birthday hats.

From the Snaps sent out by our small team, a potential 495 views. And that doesn’t begin to count the thousands of impressions we got repurposing the employee-generated content on all our other social platforms. Not bad, right?

How to create a Snapchat Geofilter for your employer brand

What you need

Budget: Geofilters can come as cheap as $5 for one hour of availability covering 20,000 square feet, however, what you will most likely need to budget for is the creative talent to produce your original artwork.

Designer: Unless you boast decent design or illustration skills, plan on tapping into your company’s in-house marketing talent, go-to design studio or professional freelancer. The artwork will make or break the popularity of your Geofilter – don’t cheap out.

Snapchat account: You need to sign up for an account to purchase your Geofilter, but you don’t need to be actively using it. First, check with Marketing to see if they already own an account you can use. If not, download the Snapchat app on your phone, sign up for an account, and confirm your email address.

The 7 Steps

1. Set your objective and plan for success

Let’s take a step back for a second. Everybody loves experimenting with new/sexy/cool tactics. But you’re not creating a Geofilter for the sake of creating a Geofilter. You’re trying to accomplish something. Probably, to promote your company as an employer of choice to your employees, friends, colleagues, and followers. Whatever it is, write your objective down. Make that objective the wellspring for all your decision-making on this project.

Because Geofilters are limited to a limited period of time and location, they work best when tied to a specific event or milestone. Consider tying it to:

  1. A company milestone, birthday or party
  2. A job fair, recruiting event or industry conference
  3. An observance or holiday that your company is marking

Next to your objective, write down the specific event, location, date and times your Geofilter will cover.

If your employer branding efforts are very data-driven, and your activities must be tied to clear and measurable KPIs, know that Snapchat analytics are kinda … non-existent. If you’re looking for something to track, I’d suggest following, or asking a Snapchatter on your team to follow a selection of the people you expect to use the Geofilter. Watch their Stories, and try and gauge success this way.

2. Design your Geofilter

With your objective in mind, write a detailed brief for the creatives who will be producing your artwork. Ask to see several thumbnails or concepts so you have options to choose from before the final artwork is produced.

Snapchat’s Geofilter artwork submission guidelines can be found here, and templates in .EPS and .PSD format can be downloaded here [ZIP], but know that:

  1. The artwork must be a 1,080 pixel wide x 1,920 pixel tall web-optimized .PNG file, less than 300 KB in size, saved with a transparent background
  2. Contact information like URLs, hashtags, and social media handles are not allowed

Some pointers:

Find examples of Geofilters you like. Share them with the designer or illustrator producing your artwork, and tell them why you like the examples. You can find plenty of samples by Googling “awesome Snapchat Geofilters” or by checking out @snapchatgeofilters on Instagram.

Don’t obstruct too much of the screen. Let the Snap subject’s big smile or silly face be the focal point.

Don’t go overboard with the branding. Show, don’t tell – evoke who you are as an employer visually, instead of stamping a big blaring logo or block of text on the Geofilter.

Make it fun. Humor and silliness are great. Design something that people want to Snap with, something that’ll make them (and their followers!) smile and laugh.

Make it crop-friendly. Make sure that your artwork is designed so that saved Snaps can be cropped and reused on other platforms. For example, Snaps are too tall and narrow for Instagram. If you screenshot a Snap and try and post it to the photo-sharing app, you’re forced to cut off the image. So the composition of your artwork should accommodate this (something I learned the hard way with our birthday Geofilter).

Screenshot of designing a Snapchat Geofilter for employer branding purposes in Sketch app

3. Upload your design

Final artwork delivered? Sweet.

Navigate to geofilters.snapchat.com and sign into the Snapchat account you’ll be using to make the purchase (ironically, this step is easier to do from your desktop or laptop, not your phone). Click ‘Choose File …’ and upload your artwork .PNG file. Make sure it looks right in the preview and give your Geofilter a descriptive name. Hit ‘Next’.

Screenshot of uploading a Snapchat Geofilter design

4. Pick a time and location for your Geofilter

Select the start date and time for your Geofilter, and the end date and time. Know that Geofilters can only be purchased up to one month in advance, and can only be active for up to 30 days. Hit ‘Next’.

Search for an address at or near the location you want your Geofilter to cover. Click ‘Draw Fence’ and click anywhere on the map to place your first point. Continue clicking and adjusting points to close off the ‘fence’ around the area. The area must be a minimum of 20,000 square feet. If you want to cover multiple, separate locations, you will have to run through these steps and make separate purchases for each one.

Screenshot of fencing the location of a Snapchat Geofilter

5. Pony up the (actually, not so much) $

Review your purchase details, pull out that corporate credit card, fill out the payment form, and hit ‘Submit’. You can see from this example that covering one large block in LA for 9 hours only costs about $10. Not bad, eh?

You’ll receive a confirmation email saying your Geofilter will be reviewed to make sure it meets SnapChat’s submission guidelines within one business day. If all’s right, you should get an email a day later proclaiming your filter ‘approved’!

6. Get your team Snapping

Here’s a downside to Geofilters: they’re kinda buried in the messaging app. A Snapchatter has to take a photo Snap and then go scrolling through filter options to see what’s available at their location. Even though the Geofilter we ran for Recruiting Social’s birthday was meant to be a surprise, we made sure to alert everybody by – go figure – taking a Snap and sending sharing it through Snapchat and Slack (our internal communications application).

So you’ll want to tell your team about the Geofilter and invite them to use it. Oh, and don’t forget to suggest they also save their Snap and post it on other social media using your #lifeatyourcompany employer brand hashtag!

Screenshot of Slack channel surprising the Recruiting Social team with a birthday Geofilter.

7. Make the most of your branded Snaps: Cross-promote!

If your people are sharing their Snaps on other social channels too, make sure to re-tweet, re-share, like, etc. Give proper attribution for any images that you re-post, and when in doubt, ask the Snapchatter’s permission before sharing their photos.

That’s it! Not so bad eh? Used strategically, Snapchat Geofilters can help you tap into your employees to promote your employer brand to their networks of friends and colleagues – without committing yourself to a permanent presence on the app.

Gonna give it a try?

Christian De Pape, Recruiting Social’s Head of Marketing and Content

About the author

Christian De Pape is Head of Marketing and Content at Recruiting Social. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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